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In our news wrap Wednesday, congressional Democrats are turning up the heat over special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia report. The House Judiciary Committee authorized subpoenas for the report and any related materials, while Republicans called the move reckless. Meanwhile, the Senate voted to limit debate on confirmations for many positions nominated by the president from 30 hours to two.
Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are turning up the heat over special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia report.
The Judiciary Committee today authorized subpoenas to require that the report and any related material be turned over to them. Democrats rejected Attorney General William Barr's promise of a redacted version by mid-April.
Republicans, in turn, called that reckless, as the two sides argued before voting.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D- N.Y.:
The committee has a job to do. The Constitution charges Congress with holding the president accountable for alleged official misconduct.
That job requires us to evaluate the evidence for ourselves, not the attorney general's summary, not a substantially redacted synopsis, but the full report and the underlying evidence.
Rep. Doug Collins, R-Ga.:
If we can't get what we want, we will try and try again. Maybe that's the new theme with this committee, the little train that kept looking for something that says, I will try, and I will try, and I will try.
But at the end of the day, the president's still the president, the economy's still moving forward, the regulations that we put in place are there, and, at this point in time, the attorney general, although he has been smeared repeatedly, is doing exactly what the regulation says.
Attorney General Barr has said that Mueller found no conspiracy or coordination between Russia and President Trump's 2016 campaign.
Barr also decided against charging the president with obstructing justice, after Mueller reached no conclusion on that question.
The U.S. Senate voted today to dramatically curb debate on most presidential nominees to government posts. Majority Republicans cut the time to two hours from 30. The change will not apply to Cabinet slots, the Supreme Court and appeals courts. Democrats used the two-hour rule during President Obama's second term, but it later lapsed.
The mayor-elect of Chicago is claiming a mandate for change after Tuesday's runoff election. Lori Lightfoot swept all 50 of the city's wards. She will be the first black woman to serve as mayor of Chicago, and the first who is openly gay. We will talk with her although later in the program.
The drama over Brexit has taken a new turn. British Prime Minister Theresa May met today with the leader of the opposition Labor Party, searching for a compromise that might pass Parliament. She also wants a further delay in leaving the European Union.
But, in Brussels, the head of the European commission said no.
Jean-Claude Juncker (through translator):
April 12 is, however, the ultimate possible deadline for approval of the withdrawal agreement. If the House of Commons doesn't express itself by this date, no further short extension will be possible.
As things stand now, Britain faces the prospect of crashing out of the E.U. with no divorce agreement.
New, Islamic laws took effect in Brunei today, punishing gay sex and adultery by stoning to death. The Southeast Asian country is about two-thirds Muslim, but the new laws also apply to non-Muslims. The measures have sparked calls for boycotts of hotels around the world that are connected to Brunei's ruling sultan.
In Mozambique, thousands of people lined up to get a cholera vaccine in Beira. That is the port city ravaged by a tropical cyclone last month. More than 1,400 cholera cases have been reported there in the last week. Health workers have launched a campaign to inoculate some 900,000 storm survivors over the next six days.
Venezuela's opposition leader, Juan Guaido, has vowed defiance after being stripped of his legal immunity. President Nicolas Maduro's loyalists took that action last night in a legislative superbody that bypasses the country's national assembly. Afterward, Guaido warned those backing Maduro against trying to arrest or even kidnap him.
Juan Guaido (through translator):
We know that all they have left is brute force. We know that. But we have audacity, intelligence, soul, strength, heart, hope, trust in this country, in ourselves.
So, armed forces, you have a decision to make. You have a decision to make now. There are all the elements on the table. Allowing this would be to turn against the republic.
The U.S. and some 50 other countries recognize Guaido as the rightful leader of Venezuela.
Back in this country, three former fraternity members of Penn State University face jail time for the hazing death of Timothy Piazza, who had been accepted for membership and Beta Theta Pi. The 19-year-old drank heavily and was fatally heard in a series of falls during a pledge ritual in 2017. The case drew national attention.
The three sentenced today will serve from 30 days to nine months. A fourth fraternity member was given 10 months of house arrest.
Parents involved in a nationwide college admissions bribery case were in federal court today in Boston. They included actresses Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. The pair were not asked to enter pleas, and remained free on bail. In all, 33 parents are charged in a multimillion-dollar scheme to get their children into top schools.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 39 points to close at 26218. The Nasdaq rose 47 points, and the S&P 500 added six.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": my conversation with the Turkish foreign minister; the incoming mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot; allegations against Joe Biden raise questions about respecting boundaries; and much more.
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